With restrictions on public life in place right now due to COVID-19 — including nightclubs — several DJs, and in some cases clubs, have started hosting parties online, where revelers dance the night away while still ensconced in their homes. Club Quarantine is one of the hottest queer clubs right now, with people streaming in from all over the world, and West Village icon Marie’s Crisis is hosting online piano bar nights.
These clubs eschew all the normal barriers for entry like long lines, cover charges, and in some cases, tiny, packed spaces, meaning more people than usual can join in the dancing. Club Quarantine, for instance, has more than 31,000 followers on Instagram.
But the same can’t be said for a new online club called Quarantee that hosts parties on the web video platform Zoom.
Here, all the usual trappings of an uber-exclusive NYC club remain: There’s a doorman who checks that you’ve paid the $10 cover charge. People can pay extra — $80 to be precise — to get private tables, which in the world of online dance clubs means private video rooms where smaller groups of people can listen to the DJ or watch performances without the rest of the crowd. The online club also requests nightclub attire for attendees, a way to keep up the vibe.
“We didn’t want to sell this as something that is inferior or boring,” says event co-founder Prof.nyc, who requested that he only be mentioned by his Instagram handle. “We want people to come because this is fun and has value and people pay for something that has value.”
Prof.nyc usually works as a promoter of clubs such as exclusive celebrity hang 1Oak, and though the rules sound like a lot, organizers aren’t strictly enforcing rules like the dress code, he says. And as for the entry fee, proceeds from the ticket sales go to the promoters, DJs, and other performers that are currently unemployed as a result of the ongoing shutdown, he says.
Three hundred people, including comedian Jason Nash, showed up to the first dance party last week, which was hosted by popular NYC-based DJ Lohrasp Kansara.
“We don’t want people joining in their pajamas, but logistically we can’t enforce that,” the organizer tells Eater. “But we were really surprised that most people dressed up, and some even had disco lights in their homes.”
Quarantee’s next event is set to take place this Saturday with a DJ named Bruno, who has more than 15,000 Instagram followers. On the club’s Instagram stories, British musician Example, known for his clubby hits, and his wife and model Erin McNaught, who had a stint on the popular Australian soap Neighbors, can be seen promoting the upcoming party in their underwear.
Though the online club promises “internationally acclaimed DJs” and “magnificent dancers and gifted performers” on its Eventbrite page, Prof.nyc did not provide details about who would come on next, only saying his entertainment company, Nior, is waiting to see the response to this Saturday’s party first.
For now, there’s a promise of a party on Zoom with hundreds of people dancing the night away from the privacy of their homes.